• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The last decade has witnessed a clear and steady rise of interest in consumer culture. Many commentators now argue that consumption rather than production is the axis of personal identity and meaningful social action - a standpoint that reverses the traditional view that consumption is an incidental, trivial feature in contemporary culture. This shrewd and probing book seeks to theorize shopping as an autonomous realm. It avoids the reductionist characteristics of economics and marketing. At the same time it avoids the moralizing tone of many contemporary discussions of shopping and consumption. The book uses an interdisciplinary resource base and comparative data to build-up a convincing analysis of the meaning of shopping

The Scopic Regimes of Shopping
The scopic regimes of shopping

The following will be a preliminary speculation on the different scopic registers (Lacan, 1991) and regimes (Metz, 1983) involved in the activity of shopping. My aim is to locate the visual dimensions of shopping within the broader context of the urban experience and to relate them to other kinds of public places and ritual sites such as movie theatres, cafés, shopping sites, museums, art galleries and chapels – the two last mentioned acting as paradigmatic reference cases for my speculation on the mystery of shopping. All these places and sites mould and support a specific scopic regime and all of them are linked to the street scene, the public space par excellence.

The street, in a more ...

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